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Lena C. Emery is a visual artist whose work is primarily based in photography. Raised between South East Asia and Europe, Emery now lives and works in London.
Emery’s photographs have been exhibited nationally and internationally at institutions such as Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art in London, Annenberg Space of Photography in New York, Asama International Photo Festival in Japan and The Climate Change Museum in Hong Kong. Her images have been included in books by Gestalten, Rizzoli and SPBH Editions.
The British Journal of Photography selected her monograph Rie (publ. Kominek) as one of the most engaging & exciting projects of 2016, as featured on their noteworthy photographers issue cover in 2017.
“When I first picked up Rie, I immediately knew this wasn’t an ordinary book of nudes. This openness creates pictures much like a breath of fresh air. Emery is certainly a portraitist and bookmaker whose work I will continue to keep an eye on.”
– Todd Hido, Fine Art Photographer
Her book Yuka & The Forest (publ. Art Paper Editions, printed on 100% recycled paper) which draws on Japan’s powerful cultural connection to forests, was exhibited within the Prix du Livre d’Auteur in Arles in 2019. 30% of profits from book sales were donated to the World Wide Fund For Nature.
“In the battle of representation, Emery’s work surrounding the climate crisis has returned to a place that is quieter, somewhere a little less painful but at the same time doesn’t let us forget the dark weight that is pressing down on the world. Her images show a place that is some distance from the entrenched view of humans as subject and the world as an object, and offers a renewed perception of symbiosis.”
– Kris Kozlowski Moore on ‘Yuka & The Forest’
Emery was selected one of the Decade of Change Award Winners in 2021, a global environmental initiative conceived to harness the universal power of photography to galvanise climate action. Her series Tenchi: Building a Bridge Between Heaven and Earth was included by Christiana Figures, architect of the Paris Agreement, as she discussed the role of photography & the arts in understanding the climate crisis within the BJP’s Decade of Change Issue 2021.
British Vogue, Dazed, M Le Magazine du Monde, Pleasure Garden, Pop, Purple, System, The Gentlewoman, WSJ
Chanel, Chloe, De Beers, Dior, Helmut Lang, Hermes, La Perla, Lemaire, Stella McCartney, Tiffany & Co, Tekla
Emery has been working closely with animal welfare and environmental groups such as the RSPCA and Trees for Cities for almost a decade. She leads a plant based lifestyle and campaigns against the use of fur and exotic skins.
“As a child I came across the volumes of naturalist, artist and author Joy Adamson in my grandmother’s bookshelf.
Adamson wrote: “Since we humans have the better brain, isn’t it our responsibility to protect our fellow creatures from, oddly enough, ourselves? Wildlife is something which man cannot construct. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. Man can rebuild a pyramid, but he can’t rebuild ecology, or a giraffe.” At age 18, inspired by Adamson’s commitment to wildlife conservation which she documented in paintings, photographs and writing, I moved to Wakatobi, a small island in Southeast Sulawesi. The Wakatobi dive resort and Wakatobi Collaborative Reef Conservation Program were born in 1998 and at the time there were about 15 people on the island, which consisted of jungle, a few small bungalows and a larger central longhouse with bathrooms and kitchen, no internet or phone reception, and a boat that only came every two weeks to pick up and drop off divers and supplies. After decades of collaborative reef conservation in partnership with the indigenous population on its surrounding islands, Wakatobi today is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and one of the largest privately-funded marine protected areas with the highest number of reef and fish species in the world.”
– Lena C. Emery